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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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MY CAT Story- Sorry for this long post:lookround:. I thank GOD with all my heart to give me the chance to post in this sacred thread.
My first acquaintance with CAT
I came to hear about this CAT way back in 1997-98(I was in class 9 , I think:) when my brother came home one day with a brochure and paper in his hand- it was a test being conducted by IMS for scholarships for the CAT prep course. I was good in maths. So just went through that paper of IMS but, oh! ,I was unable to solve more than six-seven out of I think 30 questions. Then my brother told me the shortcut to a few difficult ones- and lo , they appeared to be cakewalk after the explanation. I became interested. :

Like many making it to top B-schools I am also from an engineering background, but there is a twist. After my class 10, I wanted to study commerce(as my whole family was into that line) but was forced to take science(the typical Indian mentality-science->eng->job) .However, after my 12 board exams I could not give the eng entrance exams(call it my callousness or lack of preparation). I took admission in B.Sc (physics). But people in my locality(including friends) used to taunt me for not making it to engineering(as if it was the end of the world for me). After B.SC I took admission in B.Tech in Jadavpur University(the course was only for B.Sc. degree holders). My acads were pretty good.

The Motivation for taking CAT
During engineering , I became bored with the useless subjects taught and then I decided I want to do something else. I was also seeing my friends(who had taunted me, going for CAT'06) thus giving me the feeling that the job was not satisfactory. It was during this period that the CAT frenzy was catching everyone. I was also one of them . But I did not start studying for it in the final year. I skipped a few offers from PSU's like EIL,ONGC just to sit for CAT(these companies make you stay at sites in remote villages). In 2007 I took up a job in a software company (just to stay in a city as I wanted to prepare fort CAT). However , at that time I was not confident. In the office (though enjoyable in the beginning as you earn ur first salary) , I was just slogging. I was a good programmer(as per college standards) but over here I was just slogging , trying only to save my job. The colleagues were not very helpful ( thinking themselves to be the bonds)and I could not understand the system(nobody helped me ,they were very busy every time ) . It was then that I decided to take CAT seriously, as I found that it was the only way out from this f**king place!
Also, the desire to move away from the technical field resurfaced and the old love-commerce- came back to me. I would specialise in Finance: if I make it to a good B-school( away from this coding shit)

The Preparation
I joined Career Launcher in Gurgaon in Dec'07. I utilised each and every moment I got. In my office i used to carry my study materials and I used to study whenever I got time. I started hating my job as the opprtunities were limited. I used to get up at 7 in the morning and studied for 2 hours. I office I tried completing my work asap and sat down to solve a few QA/LR questions. In the evening, after I reached home, I sat down for 1-2 hours before dinner and then at 11 p.m to solve CAT papers. In my office my peers and colleagues came to know about my prep and soon my position in office deteriorated. It became a hell for me. But still i had just one goal in mind - CAT'08.
In June'08 the mock cat series started. In my first mock I scored 90 %tile. Good enough start for a first timer like me. But soon the situation changed . Instead of improving the scores declined hovering between 85-90 % tile in the subsequent tests. I started feeling less confident and the fear of failure crept in. Added to that the situation in office was killing me. I did not know what to do if I failed in CAT. In August I bought the last years test papers of IMS and TIME. In the night from 11p.m-1.30a.m. I usd to solve the papers . But the performance was not satisfactory:banghead:. QA was my strongest followed by DI/LR and then VA/RC. However, i was constantly scoring poor marks in QA. I still remember that the 3rd mock was my best when I scored a good 120 out of 300. But still the percentiles never improved. I was frustated. I started talking to people who had CAT experience- they told me that you need atleast 95 %tile in your mocks. I was nowhere near. But then , my brother helped me(though he never appeared for CAT:cheerio:). He told me to ignore the performance in MOCKS and just concentrate on the various kind of problems - the variety- as the real CAT is totally different from the MOCKS. This piece of advice worked. I was no longer worried about the 80 odd percentiles that I was scoring - though I was always trying to improve.
During my classes in Career Launcher I met a guy called Pankaj:cheers:. We started discussing about CAT as he too was in the same boat like me - not scoring well in mocks. He joined the TIME test series and gave me the TIME MOCK papers. That was of great help as I found that I was doing well in the TIME papers - which were closer to the actual CAT. It gave me some confidence. I took a break - I did not appear for 2 mocks in September. I worked on a strategy. Initially I was devoting time in the order 40/40/40 for the three sections and then 30 minutes for the section which could maximise my marks. This was not working for me. So simply I put 50 mins for each section. This worked well for me in a few mocks. So I decide that I am going to stick with this strategy in the D-day also. Even after the breaks and strategising I failed in the subsequent mocks to score well . I decide that I am not going to appear for any more mocks. I was still not sure which section was my strongest- as the marks were always varying.I started solving whatever Mock papers I had with me for the next few weeks. I slowly came to realise that accuracy is THE most important in CAT. In the next few tests that I took I attempted a very few questions and aimed for accuracy. This worked.;)
Meanwhile, in office , I was not performing to my potential and my situation was real bad. I did whatever was assigned to me but that vigour was lacking. My one time favourite-coding was like a tasteless thing for me. I just slogged .:sneaky:

The Final Preparations
In October I realised that if I stay in my office I would never be able to give CAT well. So I decided that I would go home -to kolkata. I left for home just before Diwali in October'08 stating jaundice in my office. Once in home I started dedicatedly preparing for CAT. In the morning I used to go through the materials and then from 11 a.m to 1.30p.m I used to solve one paper. In the evening I followed a similar routine. I decided that accuracy is the one that I am going to aim for in QA and DI. In English it was just the opposite- i would aim for speed.:grin:
CAT'99-04- These papers were different. The questions were relatively easy but the no. of questions were 50 in each section. I could solve these papers and scored consistently around 120 out of 300. This gave me some confidence.
But CAT -05 onwards the pattern changed . CAT had become difficult and I also had difficulty scoring well in these papers. But then my strategy was - accuracy in QA and DI and speed in English. I was doing comparitively well. Remeber , at this time I had no way to know my relative standing as i had stopped taking mocks from mid October.:oops:
Just a few days before CAT I stopped all paper solving and just concentrated on brushing up the basics- according to my brother's advice(his advice always helps me:cheerio:). I was prepared for the D-day - I knew that I had to perform otherwise there was no way out for me( I would be ridiculed in office as everyone knew I was preparing for CAT).
I had to do it on 16th Nov 2008.

The D-day-16th Nov'08
I went to the examination hall . Settled down . I brushed up in my mind - accuracy in QA/DI and speed in English. The paper started.
I began with my strongest section Quant. It began well .I progressed well and I knew that I was doing them right. I skipped a few. After 45 minutes I found that I have done only 10. I scanned the Quant section again- Ha there it was -on the lines of a sum in the TIME test series a geometry problem and then another. 50 minutes up I had done 12(got all of them correct. Whew!)
DI/LR- Got the simplest set right at the beginning(lucky !).5 minutes and three done , but then DI was not so easy. 50 minutes gone and I had done 11.
English- Oh! 40 questions. I adjusted . I fixed my target . 2 RC passages and rest EU/VA. 50 minutes gone and i had done 22.
Came out quite contended. Felling good about QA and LR/DI but skeptical about English section.:oops:

The results
Came back to office . Had a brawl with my manager- I just hate this job. Attended the other exams -SNAP,IIFT,NMIMS and XAT. Then came the results season. IIFT (missed by 1 mark). Tension was creeping in for 9th Jan(the CAT results day). Then it came . Wow! I had three calls B,I and L( I thanked GOD heartily). Great! Now I can go the office with pride.On 10th came the Snap results. Managed calls from SIBM(pune & bangalore).,SCMHRD and SIIB. NMIMS(I missed by 8 marks). XAT-disaster. But these did not matter any more.I started my GD/PI prep and ultimately conquerd IIM-Indore.
The hard work payed off. I resigned from office on 10th April itself- the day the IIM results came out. But surprisingly, the peers who had doubted my abilities now congratulate me and look to me with respect. Even my manager! Wow! I love it . Just waiting for my notice period to end and say bye-bye to this office and job.

My tips to CAT aspirants

1)Make a strategy- it is very important. What works for others may not work for you.
2)Identify ur weak areas and strong areas. Work for ur weaknesses but don't ignore ur strong ones- remember ur strong areas will give u the edge.
3)Make a routine and stick to it. Never ever deviate from it - however tired you maybe.
4)Don't let the Mocks rule you- remember doing well in mocks doesn't guarantee you anything. Moreover,mock CAT and CAT are totally different.Performance on your D-day matters.
5) Finally believe in yourself and GOD. You are the best Judge of your abilities and GOD is the best judge of your efforts.


CAT is most an adventurous thing that happens suddenly in the middle of a boring life for most of the people. Like for many my story is also a similar one. Having decently scored in both 10th n 12th and then securing admission in a Decent Engineering college, I thought now after so many years, life would ease out. My parents always told me that it is the last hurdle clear it. I tried and cleared that realizing that as per their expectation one more needs to be fulfilled and this time people said it was really the last one (God Knows). After completing my engineering got a job in a Decent MNC. I had a profile of Sales and Marketing, company given Ford Ikon, I thought that MBA is not required for me. Many of my friends in the company were preparing but i never thought i will ever prepare for CAT. Many oldies in the company also told me that. In the first year I thought the same way.After around a lil over 2 years I was really sucked up with my job. Really wanted to run away. Then I thought of giving CAT. If I would clear CAT I would be the amongst the last ones from batch to go into MBA. This was infact my last chance coz if I did not, i would ve been a married man .

As per my conversation, I bought the material from CL and joined the test series. But my job kept on haunting me. Regularly I had to travel to other places, and could manage to give one one third of the tests. Self study was not happening. I had almost given up. Then my promotion was delayed by 3 months. Really bugged I thought I had enuf. Had to get some self discipline. But with just 1 month to go, odds were not in my favour. Bringing in some discliline I started giving roughy 1.5 hrs av daily. I tried to brush up formulas for Quant, increase my stamina so that I can sit for three hours and concentrate. I also ensured that I fill all the forms even ICFAI :grin:. Before the CAT took one week off.

My focus was on two things- 1. SHould know all formulas and fundas 2. Tried to get my speed right and that I can hold it for 2.5 hrs. Finally the D day came CAT 2008. Not very hopeful went for the test. Had always practice on a strategy. I started with Quant. Did well in attemping arnd 20 questions. People found it difficult but I found it pretty chill. Then DI. handled it well too. same arnd 20 questions. It was easy for all but DI has always been my strength. Finally came the most Dicy section VA. It was the section that could swing the things. ANd it really did. I saw the watch. I clearly rem that moment 12.58. Just 32 min and a bloody whole section left. My plans were hay wire. My real life quant was shattered. Such a big mistake. In the hurry started answering but could not focus. So it was guess work all the way. I knew I was screwing it up, but the urge in me forced to keep guessing. CAT was gone, then started giving other exams. But again job kept coming in. With great lies, setting, jugad was able to give the other tests. Mostly it was like Sat night I come back and Sunday I gave the tests.

After all the tests then was the time for results. CAT was the first to come. I din ve the time and guts to calculate my score. On the DAY was not able to check the result online. SOmeone told me to send an sms. With that you can check your percentile but cannot check your calls. I asked my frnd to do that. I was told my percentile 80 in VA :oops:, 99.77 in QA & 99.81 in DI, Overall 99.77. I was shattered. I knew that I would have no IIM calls. That was confiormed next day. So waited for other resutls. Similar near misses. 97.9 in FMS (98 was the cut off), 84 in NMIMS (85 Cut off), arnd 30 in IIFT ( Cut off 32). Managed to score decently in SNAP. Screwed in XAT & JMET. After a long wait finally managed to get calls from some CAT colleges also. My total calls were NITIE, MDI, IMT, SIBM, SCMHRD, Great Lakes and yea ICFAI too.

Started the interview season with SCMHRD. Was confidant on my GD skills. Did not do any preparation. Got kicked out in the GD itself. It was a real shock for me. Then again did all my consulting, a lil self practice. Finally in the end convertered all the calls except SCMHRD. Fianlly I decided jo join the best of the these institutes NITIE.

Now life has started out here but the hurdles are still not over. First came summers. Doing that in P&G.; now the next big hurdle would be a job and then after that the hurdles will keep coming. Guess will have to make these hurdles a habbit


Well ,Every Dog has its Day , and today people its mine .

CAT well this three letter word has become more of an over hyped phenomenon ( truly just in my honest opinion ) . My tryst with destiny began ages ago in 2005 the first year i gave CAT. Yes i did the usual things , i went to IMS , I gave the mocks , I was never bad , but I dare say I was also never great ,if there was one thing that got me 99+ percentiles it was verbal . Well as I said I did the usual things , with the exception that things with the sort of unusual person I am , dont always stay very usual. I lost my mind in between and started believing DI would be my nemesis , I was horribily bad at calculation based DI though logic was my strength. On CAT day the IIMs seemed to have guessed my aptitude and 2005 was the year when the pattern for DI changed completely and CAT DI became less calculation based and more logic based , I got a 97+ in DI and a 92 overall.

I had a job from campus ( A Chinese product based company ) , with a Chinese way of life. I did my internship and started working with them , my days and nights comprised of one thing code , code and more code ( for the uninitiated , code , is an abstruce language developed by human beings to keep themselves busy and occupied on lifeless but more intelligent forms of machinery(popularly known as computers) ) . Anyway , never gave CAT 2006 , while two of my best friends got kickass percentiles and went to MDI and IIM C , one went on to win the Aditya birla scholarship . Well what is its relation to me , well you can imagine rock bottom that my self esteem hit at that point , in case you cant , well I really cant help you can I .

That was that , I prepared (yes again for CAT 2007 ) , again the same story , I would sometimes wake up at 3:00 in the morning and wonder what the hell am I going to do . That was that , CAT 2007 was another disastor. I realised one thing PREPARATION IS NOT FOR ME. I realised (or rather was made to realise by some friends whom I am now indebted to) that on any given day , given paper I can solve the number of questions i need to clear the cutoffs in each section all I need is the right ATTITUDE. I got depressed and managed to move around like a zombie. To beat it I got one call and one reject from SP Jain , I had no idea what was wrong.

Hence come 2008 I gave the GRE applied for MS and decided to end this obsession with an arbitrary exam which lakhs of people give each year,I wanted to do a Post grad, have a university life, live in a different country, experience, make my life interesting. The dollar surged against the rupee , the world economy was tumultuous , and the rest as they say is history. But sometime in between Yours Truly decided to fill the CAT form ( by this time I was programmed to do so : ) ).

I attended horse riding classes at palace grounds , went to one of my friends places to vegetate, went to an NGO to work on weekends , filled MS apps when thousands of people were taking and analyzing the mocks, I was living my life .

On Sat November 16th I was thinking hard if i should bunk a horse riding class and waste 5 hours of my time to give an exam I have given twice. Finally I decided to go , my room mate was at the same center as mine and didn't know the location well , I said what the hell , I will go with her. Again ,The rest as they say is history. This year of all , I got calls from IIM B,L,K,S with a 98.73 (OA) and 94+ sectional in all. Yes the one year I did nothing except relax and not take it to heart.

I got a MS accept, I got a promotion at work, I converted my B and K calls ,though L was a straight reject and one of my funniest interviews, I resigned from work ,all in chronological order.

And guess what I got to know about both my calls and my convert at IIM B through PG.

People can make all the difference ...
I owe a pair of JOSE headphones (originally it was BOSE that i had promised but then what the heck 350 $ no chance), a pair of chaddis ( not the pink ones ) to my friends that I had promised if I get through B.

For me this line sums it up ...

"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance. "

One friend told me that we can never know the bigger scheme of things , and maybe even if we did we would never change it, though we think we would. Chew on it. Read about chaos theory, read albert camus, read marcel proust, Maybe the universe is meant to be in a state of chaos and any attempt to bring it to order is futile.

Cheers and God bless !


For one week after the results were announced I did nothing but party and relax - GD/PI prep will come but for the time being I had to live the moment. I was at my hometown, relaxing with my cousins and family members - that provided me the fuel to take a leap into the GD/PI prep. The next week, I came to know about the CL bootcamp and braced myself for that. Now, the bootcamp is something I would recommend to any puy thinking of converting his/her IIM calls. It was one helluva experience - it went for two days and I would say I almost matched a strict Bschool regimen. We did nothing but GDs, Funda gaining session, Mock PIs, GK overhaul etc. I also met some great people out there - bootcamp is something I am not going to forget for quite some time to come. I came to know about my weaknesses (soft voice, need to have enough knowledge of my hobbies etc.) and worked towards filling the gaps. I took the TIME material and went through the various PI experiences. This helped me a lot in knowing the kind of questions that are normally asked. Apart from that, used to attend weekend GD drills at TIME. I knew I am not a great performer in GD - all I needed to make sure was to make 2-3 valid points. Ah, the next thing was acads - I made a word doc about my syllabus from my insti site and started mugging up that I started to learn some 7 years earlier. It was nothing short of a rediscovery. By the time my first interview (IIMB) came, I was mostly ready.

Each IIM interview was unique in its own way. However, I liked the IIMA and IIMC interviews a lot. The former was more of a kind of discussion and we even discussed Hindi Grammar for some time. The latter was a stress interview, but I somehow enjoyed being massacred there.

And again came the wait for results. As the days were nearing I was getting more and more anxious. On 9th afternoon, IIML put up a test link and it said I was through. But then I wanted an official confirmation, and more importantly about the BIG 3 - A,B,C. At night, I came to know that I am not in the list released by B. My anxiety acquired a new dimension - couldn't sleep the whole night. At around 6, woke up from bed knowing there is no use of trying to sleep. Came to know that L had put its official link - my convert was retained there. A sigh of relief - I am heading to an IIM atleast. But needed to know what happened with A,C desperately. Then came the C result - I gathered myself, entered my TR No. and DOB and then came the message - "Congratulations...." - it felt like I had attained nirvana. Waited for A result and I had converted that as well.

Now I was in a dilemma between A and C. I had to make that choice - called up my friends and after a lot of thought, I have almost decided to head for WIMWI. :)

Now I have entered the world of MBA and my next concern is interns. As you see, problems in life never end, and that's what makes it so exciting. :)

Tips to CAT Aspirants:

i) Always keep up your confidence levels, and that doesn't mean assuring yourself that you can do it. It should come from within, it should based on some things which you have achieved through your hard work. Fake confidence doesn't help anytime. Neither does over-confidence.

ii) Get over the "Ego" factor. If you are not able to solve a DI Puzzle Set or a QA problem amidst a test, leave it at that. You probably have the clout to solve the others. And let me assure you - there is never a dearth of questions.

iii) Practice. Practice. Practice. And practice doesn't mean doing some from the basic study material. Practice means solving quality questions from previous (and recent) CAT papers, Mock CATs etc. I would advise you to get the last two years' TIME Mock papers and try to solve each QA and DI question from them. And resort to aid, only if you are convinced that the question is beyond you. Never try to get over the "Ego" factor while practicing. But make sure that you are able to solve questions of similar pattern fast if they reappear.

iv) Read. Read. Read. Read anything you can lay your hands on. It may be the newspaper (esp. the editorials. Would strongly recommend The Hindu), Magazines (would strongly recommend Businessworld), Fiction (would strongly recommend books by Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Ayn Rand & Jhumpa Lahiri) and Non-Fiction (there are a hell lot of topics you can pick from, including Philosophy). Apart from that, somewhat lesser fun to do is to solving the RCs from previous CATs/Mock CATs.

v) Follow PG regularly. But not to the extent that it turns out to be an addiction. Subscribe to mailing lists like QQAD (Quant Question A Day) and DI question a day. Keep updating your mock scores in the thread meant for it and keep assuring yourself. If possible, do track what actually went wrong with a specific mock, so that you can fill in the gaps.

v) CAT is not the end of the world. Allocate a good quantity of your time to your regular activities (acads if you are studying & work if your working). Note that a good percentage in graduation is the requirement of any good college - don't spoil your chances by spoiling your grades. CAT will come many times, but a bad GPA/percentage in your college is going to haunt your profile forever.

i am deletinmg this post..sorrry


I guess I can lay claim ...to writing here ... although I am gonna Join XLRI.

The day I could not get into IIT's and my claim to do so ...after dropping one year..( as is the usual fare in Bihar ...my native place) ..was successfully vetoed by my family ....

I had to get into IIM's ...That is the freaking way my mind perceives things!!

(I still maintain...that I was and am good enough for both the institutions( as so many of fellow puys and my peers are) ...People ..the way I see it is that.. this country of ours ...has such a large talent pool ...that we cannot afford to ..give IIx education to all the deserving people...so ...D day matters ...and a section of people get in ...and the rest ..are left ..back ...to pay ..what I call the "cost" that the bearers ...of a "developing" nation have to pay .. I am not complaining .. I love India.)

Well.. joined ..NIT Surathkal.(engg folks ..know about this better than "good" college )..after a fair enough performance in AIEEE 2004.
Turned out to be best decision of my life till date.
All other great things like ...an international size swimming pool, a private college beach ...a cosmopolitan culture ..and awesome placements apart ...this college is the best ..launching pad for higher studies. Consider this .. of my class of 34 students ...passing out ....15 straightaway went for MS in USA/Canada etc.

So after ... reading novels .... playing CS .. wasting time for 3 years in college ... CAT 2007 was in sight ...and I was damn confident.
Gave some initial mocks...and all.. performed very well...and worked really hard ...like practised and all....
My college has a history kind of ..of sending 12-15 people to IIM's every year ...and all my friends believed I would also ...get in .

The biggest mistake around this time that I did was ... ignored ..my almost ...constant failure to ...cross sectional percentiles ..in any one section ...throughout the mocks season ..!!!

I thought ...ek din ki baat hai ..it will come good on the good day !!
I used to get good enough overall scores( 99 +- 0.1 percentiles ) ...so that was also fair enough!!

Screwed up DI in CAT 2008 big time. And it was the easiest section.
percentile : 96.57
I never got less than ..98.5 in mocks... but i was disappointed ...only with myself !!
I remember my Mom said to me the day results were out ...only this much ..
Does it matter ?? You know ..that you are good enough ...I know that you are good enough ?? Your friends know that ?? what else ?? How many times they will refuse ?? you have 4 months of final year ..enjoy karo "

I tried to forget ....enjoyed my last few days in college to the limit ...went home before joining my company.
It was around July 2008. CAT was again back to my mind. Still I did nothing. I dint want to overwork...I had a fair idea of things ...I was not so to say " weak" in any of the sections ..like ...none of the sections were like pulling me down ...I knew it was the day that mattered !!

So around August .. I joined ...IMS ..(decide to change ..it was...TIME in college) ... decent enough i felt .. but felt like more practice... So took Career launcher ...also..on saturday ... I must thank my two flatmates ...they r friends bk from college ...and they joined with me ..!!

IMS gives a good all around ... competition ...and Carrer Launcher's individual questions are really good.....sometime CL goofs up on setting a nice paper overall...too tough or too easy ...!!

Was performing well ....never below 98.5 .. in the later stages ...also ...came in below AIR 100 also many times.

I also realised three things :

1. Any student, however brilliant and balanced HAS to surrender himself to the demands of the exam pattern in front of him. You just cant be egoistic and hard headed.

2. Self analysis is the key. You can't survive such immense competition if you dont understand how does your mind behaves during a test. When does it need rest ?? When should you stop attempting a DI set ...and go back to a chilled out VA questions ?? Things like that !!

3. Accuracy In Quant and DI is the key. It serves you immensely if you can get the feel of balancing your attempts and their accuracy as per the needs of the paper ! Period !!

just went and gave CAT 2008. I knew as soon as I came out ki ...I had screwed it up ...As a principle, I never check my scores with online results and all...But pata tha ki ...Quant was screwed up ...again the easiest one !!

Had a call from IIFT meanwhile ... but heart was not there ... would not have joined even ...if I had got it..at least this year !!

So went home ...10 days .. came back ...Lots of work in office .. dint touch pen for one month ..till XAT ...4th Jan ..

Decided on 3rd jan after seeing last year's actual XAT paper of mine ..

Only one strategy ... forget it was XAT ... Convert XAT to CAT .. ignore all special types of questions ....choose CAT tyoe questions and solve them !!

The minute I came outta XAT, i knew ...it was good ....I would surely get a call!!

Finally got ...99.7
My mom was happier than I was ...hehe ...coz she had seen ...that ..I had screwed up quant again !! I just kept telling her .ki ..mummy ..luck bhi chahiye ...kaafi logon ke saath hota hai !! Its a one-day thing !!

Interviews...and all...no special preparation..

rejects from IIFT .. expected ... very bad interview ...because I was brutally honest ..all throughout the intrvw.

FMS .. god only knos ..why they rejected me .. 99.75 .. and a good gd/PI ...

xlri .. CONVERTED ...jOINING ..NTHNG SPECIAL ...they asked me ..some different questions ..which I could manage !!

Not IIM's but XLRI ..Fair deal ...considering ...how unlucky ..you can be ...on the basis ...of 3 hrs .. or ..one bad day at GD/ PI.

Pagalguy .. has been awesome throughout
.. I cant thank ....puys enough !!

The net result is
" Always ask yourself ...Do you want it that bad ??? "


"it" always listens and responds !!

I cannot thank the Almighty enough for giving me a chance to post on this sacred thread. This one is straight from the heart for God, for him, for you all.
I think I am special out of lots of people who clear CAT because I have a unique "quant-phobia" (like many arts/ commerce girls) but despite that I got through IIML.
From the begining I despised maths That's why I had chosen the commerce stream after 10th (despite being a 'National Science Olympiad' winner...). In 12th I got 82 in maths. Yet my other papers managed to fetch me a 92% and I got through Economics (Hons.) in SRCC, my dream college.
Maths didn't desert me in SRCC. The story continued since Economics is a maths-heavy course. I became a mediocre in SRCC because I scored badly in maths, stats and related papers.
Maths didn't desert me after SRCC also. It started haunting me with a new name - QUANT - in my dream paper, CAT. And now I have to go for maths foundation course at IIML. Life is such a bitch!
My tryst with the CAT began in 2006 Novemeber when I planned to write this over hyped exam
CAT 2006 - CAT threw a big surprise - 75 questions- 25 in all 3 sections! I got into the trap. I think I did 20-22 questions in VA (why! Why! Why!)and 10 each in DI & QA. When the result came I realized I had 35 each in DI & QA (both the sections fetched me close to a 90%ile) and a hopeless 12 marks in VA - that gave me a 72%ile in VA. I was shattered not coz of a low score but because my strength - VA dinged me! No calls of course.:|
Finally in the 2006 season I got a lone TISS call. I thought I had a great GD (I started the GD) & a decent PI (except for the why HR question, about which I had no clue, being a fresher). But TISS rejected me. I was not very sad because I wanted to give the CAT again. I joined Hewitt and started working in 2007.
Lessons Learned: Do not underestimate any section or the GDPI process:nono:. Any section or any stage of the process could be your nemesis, even your perceived strength area.
Thankfully I got through a good company, a consulting firm in September 2007 (again because of their verbal based written paper). I was enjoying my work and prepared a little bit for CAT 2007. I also realized about GMAT sametime & this gave me the hope that I need not settle for a bad B-school since I can always go to Amrika if not IIM
CAT 2007: A replica of CAT 2006. I gave the paper without serious prep. Still VA & DI were good. Both sections fetched me a 95+. But my under-preparation in quant was my nemesis. CAT 2007 Qaunt was much tougher than CAT 2006 quant. & I got a BIG ZERO with 25%ile in QA in CAT 2007!!!!!!
This scared me big time. I knew that quant was the problem area. I could do fairly ok in an easy SNAP or NMAT type quant paper but for a CAT & XAT my quant needed major work. CAT 2007 did not do anything to me except that it further developed my quanto-phobia.
Lessons Learned: QUANT / QUANT / QUANT / QUANT
I was doing fairly well in my job. & Simultaneously I decided to 'give-it-all' to CAT in 2008. I joined TIME mocks. From May 2008 onwards I studied for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the eve after office, daily. Left every worldly pleasure for 6 months and only concentrated on CAT.
But I continued to score miserably in TIME in QA section. :|
Meanwhile God sent an angel for me. A dear friend of mine, and a gem of a person helped me out with QA. He patiently made me understand fundamentals of quant. We studied together & that greatly helped me. I cant thank him enuf ever :)
And yes this time my hard work bore fruits. This is how my score card looked on 9th Jan 2009:
Test Section Score Percentile
Section - I Quantitative 28.00 (out of 100) 88.40 (just managed :p)
Section - II Logic & Data Interpretation 43.00 (out of 96) 98.11
Section - III Verbal 89.00 (out of 160) 99.87
Total 160.00 (out of 356) 99.81
You have been shortlisted by the following IIM's for their PGP interviews. Details available on the individual institute's website (candidates for IIMC should check whether they are shortlisted for PGDM or PGDCM or both):
Indore Lucknow
And then began the GDPI prep - a journey of self introspection, lots of fun, learning & unlearning.
Finally on April 10th I came to know that I had converted both IIML & IIMI (WL, but should convert). I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The feeling is awesome!
So I am off to helL!!!!

My 7 cents for all future CAT aspirants:
  1. Have faith in your abilities. If you believe you can, you will. (Clich but true)
  2. If you fail, don't give up. Try again. (Clich but true)
  3. Analysis of mocks is the most important part of your preparation. (key to CAT)
  4. Work regularly in all sections (any section can ding you, trust me).
  5. To improve in your weak area, study with some one who is good at that and probably bad in the section that is your strength. (this helps immensely):thumbsup:
  6. Total Gadha number system book, QQAD & Arun Sharma material is great for scoring in QA (I am not advertising but only sharing what helped me in QA).
  7. Pagalguy is a great place and a must for all CAT aspirants. Period.
Rock on!!


After the results came for CAT 2007, I decided that CAT 2008 would be the last CAT I would be giving and that I would put in my 100%. Two of my room-mates made it to A & C and that indeed inspired me. But still, I didn't hurry it up - I was waiting for the mock season to start. I came to know about the utilities of PG through a colleague of mine. I subscribed to the QQAD mailing list and I would say that it took my Quant skills to the next level. I would strongly recommend it to anyone preparing for CAT. The questions are no doubt tougher than CAT, but once you start solving them, CAT questions just seem like cake-walk. I also picked up previous AIMCATs and started solving various DI sets. I came to know about many tips for solving puzzle based LR questions and various patterns involved. This segregation helped me in seeing through the clutter and provided me a solid framework for handling the dreaded LR questions. It was during the same time that the pagalguy premiere league was formed - and I became part of the Bangalore DT - I saw some awesome people there. This motivated me even more to perform well in the mocks. This time I joined two series - one of CL and one of TIME. Used to give CL mocks on Saturdays and TIME mocks on Sundays. That made sure that I was kept busy for most of the next week. When the mocks started, I started with a bang (99.85) partly because of the lack of prepared junta joining the mocks and partly due to the efforts that I had put in for around 1 month before that. I tried to keep maintaining my percentiles about 99 trying to clear all cutoffs. The more important thing I did was to not get bogged down by an occasionally low score. Such scores helped me in filling gaps and handling situations not encountered before. Plus, I made it a point to analyze each mock and solve each of the problem I left unattempted (Especially the DI sets). I continued with QQAD and started reading lots of stuff over internet and I picked up some good books like Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. Load on the work front was lesser than the last year, so was able to dedicate some time of mine to these activities. I thought I was all set for the BIG one (the last Mock at TIME was indeed a confidence booster in this respect). One more good thing I did was to take a leave from work starting Wednesday (CAT was on Sunday). I gave some mocks during the time, and gave the easiest of the lot I had preserved for myself just the day before the exam. As expected I had blasted the Mock and that gave me the required confidence. I slept early and surprisingly was able to get at least around 7 hrs of sleep. Now all set for the exam - reached exam center about half an hour before - and braced myself for the MAINCAT0900.

Found 160 marks for VA, 100 each for DI&QA; - thought of giving more time to VA but ended up giving equal time to all three sections. Started with QA and found it easier than the last time and was smoothly going along without any speed-breakers. I wanted to maximize my score through Quant so decided to persist and attempted it for full 50 minutes. Then DI. DI was the toughest section in CAT 2008 and it did take a toll on me, given that DI is my weakest section. It was calculation intensive as well. Just managed to do 12 questions and hoped to get most of them correct. Started with the verbal part of VA - found it a bit difficult, but attempted some nevertheless. Then to RCs. RCs were a welcome development this time. The passages were easier to comprehend and there was lesser ambiguity in answer choices. This helped me gain the confidence and I did all except one RC. In the last 5 minutes and solved some questions in another VA set. Overall, I had committed some mistakes in all sections but the damage was limited.

I started worrying about DI after the dust settled. I had got two questions wrong for sure and that put my score at 38 - which turned out to be borderline case. Now began the excruciating wait for the results. But I would say that wait was worth it! Meanwhile the JMET results came and I was AIR 3. Now I was sure of making it to at least one good bschool (SJMSOM). On 8th Jan, the site was opening for some puys and I gave my TR. No. to enstranged_gnrs. I would be thankful to him for ever for posting that result. It was a dream come true. I had got all of the coveted BLACKI calls, and a whopping percentile of 99.88
Finally, I cracked CAT, and that too in a bang. Now was the time to pass the next hurdle - the GD/PI round.

(GD/PI Process aka the after-effects of CAT cracking)

The emotion that I attach with this thread cannot be put in words. Finally, the time has come for me to become the part of a legacy, and I have become a part of it with a bang! My first post will be just about my failures in the three CATs I gave earlier - its only through the failures does one gain motivation to succeed. It all started in 2004.


After having been placed in an MNC (I was in final year then), a friend of mine at IIT Kharagpur informed me of this discount available on Mocks by TIME. I was in no interest to do an MBA at that point of time, but my friend just convinced me to join the test series. I gave tests with a complete lack of seriousness - I didn't even used to look at the papers after coming back from test. I used to score in 80-90 range in the mocks - not that I cared, I just gave them to boost my ego. Had to go to Calcutta to give CAT - the pattern had changed. 123 questions in all, with differential marking. I started with Quant and was taking my own sweet time, then went to VA, then in the end to DI. I had very less time left for DI and screwed it on a colossal scale.


The final result was 95.88 with Quant and VA in 96s and DI 82 odd. Anyway, I forgot about CAT for a lot of time after that, and started working my ass off on my B.Tech project (mostly an IT project based on Java). I tried to increase my CG, and managed to make it 8.42 by the end of my degree. Later joined the MNC and was put in Mainframes. I just hated Mainframes as it was so outdated, but yet continued working in the MNC so that it doesn't leave a blot on my resume. Even the thought of CAT didn't appear in my mind, so didn't give CAT 2005


Around August, I quit IBM and I joined a mid-sized product company with primarliy telecom companies as clients. The work environment changed for good and was much more informal than the suffocation I faced in the MNC. This is the time I met two of my colleagues who were preparing for CAT and giving the Mocks. But still, I wasn't really "ready" for an MBA - just kept up with business as usual, but convinced by room-mates to give CAT just for the heck of it. I remember trying to solve a very hard DI set from an AIMCAT paper with my friend the day before the exam. That was the only preparation I did for the exam. Went to exam hall and saw that QA was a piece of cake. But lack of preparation led to me taking quite a lot of time - did it for 1 hr. Then came VA - it was the most arbit VA paper that I ever saw. My reading speed was pathetic then and I took my own time solving the paper - but the time I spent in office reading wikipedia articles did help me a bit. Again 1hr gone. 1/2 hr left for DI. The time I came to DI, it was literally a blackout - I had not practiced even a bit, and everyone knows how important practice is for DI. As I had to do it fast, I wasn't actually confident of even one question. I knew that I won't be able to clear DI cutoff anyway. The results came - Overall 96.xx, QA was 99.8x, VA was 99.3x (given that VA had been the the nemesis of many, this was a welcome development) and DI was 10.xx! (I actually scored ZERO in DI). I didn't feel so bad as I didn't prepare at all, but I thought of it as a lost oppurtunity as QA was not going to be as easy as it was in this CAT anymore. But then I was getting into the "MBA mode" - my work at office actually helped in realize the need for an MBA to boost my career.


I had caught up with my work at office, and was recognized by everyone for my contributions. Working in a mid-sized company gave lot of responsibility and independence to me with respect to my work. So I caught on with work, and was fairly busy everytime. The mock season came and I joined the TIME series. But I still repeated the same mistakes that I did back in college. I didn't use to do enough practice and nothing apart from a quick perusal of the mock paper after coming back. My scores always used to range in the 90s (the highest it once touched was 98 something). Apart fromt that work in the office was getting hectic. So at some point of time, I completely lost touch and there began a downward spiral in my scores. That led to a greater loss in confidence and quickly started losing hope. I clearly lacked information on those CAT crackers who had scored really less in their mocks. In short, I really missed pagalguy - although I had an id here, I rarely used to visit, mostly to post just my mock scores. CAT came and went - amidst my hectic work. I had a hard time convincing my manager for taking a leave on the Saturday before CAT. I was even thinking about my work stuff while writing CAT. My strategy was anyway screwed up. I attempted my weakest section - DI first - was able to score averagely there. Then moved on to verbal - I found it equally arbit, if not more, as 2006 - I took a full hr for this. I was left with just 45 mins for QA. Now the blackout had to happen with QA - I found it really tough - after not being able to solve 2-3 questions, pressure increased and I ended up making really bad mistakes. Anyway, result was worse than the last time - 95.xx with 89.xx in QA, 92.xx in VA, 89.xx in DI - I expected it. But I got a promotion at work and that kind of compensated for my grief of not cracking CAT.


After many attempts, I have finally been able to write this post. So here goes my story
I have never been an extraordinary student. I consider my self bright, but extremely lazy .Scored around 80% in 10th and 12th , with minimal efforts. Had a lucky day on AIEEE exam and managed to get into a decent engineering college. Managed to score 8.00 CGPA, thanks to the lenient marking system. Wasnt sure about what I wanted to do in life. Filled the CAT form, as all my friends were filling it. But one fine day, I saw one of my friends studying for the GATE, and decided to go for it. Filled the form, bought a book, only to realize that I could not handle so much of technical stuff. So, I ended up achieving new heights in computer gaming and sidelining the plans for higher education. Meanwhile, I managed to get 71%ile in CAT and 88%ile in GATE. Having no other option left, I joined an IT firm with the plan of working very hard and to become a geek (It sounds kewl). But destiny had other plans for me. I got a role where there was no work for me. Literally. In the first six months ,I hardly worked for a day or two. So I decided to give CAT another shot. Joined the TIME classes and started with vigor. But within two months, I had burned out. So, I spent the next six months going to the classes (Coz I had paid the fees) but making little efforts at home. But still I was quite optimistic of making it to a decent college. Managed 94%ile in CAT and calls from XLRI,SIBM,SCMHRD,XIMB. I was so confident of converting at least one of these that I didnt even prepare for the GDPI. The result : rejection from all. Meanwhile, some of my friends, who had performed no better than me in the mocks, have converted IIM calls.
I now feel happy that I have been rejected from these colleges. At least I know what I can achieve and more importantly ,what I want to achieve. I will not live my whole life with the regret that , I could have done better".


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